To Dad, With Love

March 29, 2011 at 8:54 AM 10 comments

Today marks the second year since my dad died.  While we try to maintain positive energy as a family and we do a great job of supporting each other, I will admit that March is a very difficult month for me.  Grief comes differently to everyone and dad’s birthday and death date set on each side of the month of March really make it a tough time of the year for me.  However, it is a beautiful sunny day today and as the birds chirp, flowers begin to bloom and spring finally shows it’s first signs of life, I know that Dad would want us to celebrate him and all that he was today.

I thought I would share the words that I said at his rosary:

When we would complain as children, my father’s common response to our woes was, “Life is not fair.”  I stand before you, 28 years old, feeling the unfairness of life.  But my father’s advice continues to chime in my ears.  He always explained to me that you will face difficult times out of your control, but what you can control is your attitude.  You can choose to wallow in your misery or you can choose to face adversity with optimism and a smile.  As a tribute to you dad, I promise to continue living with joy, to continue to dream and to continue to love.

My father had a very spiritual side deeply rooted in a childhood rich in ritual and faith.  We often went to mass together on Sundays even if it was only for communion or in Spanish.  When I think of Sunday, I think of one thing.  The ride home from church with Dad.  Sunday has always been my favorite day of the week and I know it is because of Dad.  He had about 4 miles to cover on the drive from the church to home and it would take him 20 minutes.  He would drive about 10 miles per hour finding any back roads possible.  We’d check out people’s gardens, open houses and strangers that walked by.  He’d drive with the window down, saying howdy to anyone who passed.  He’d have Garrison Kielor blasting and when Garrison’s stories were funny, he would let out a huge guttural laugh, as though he had heard the best joke of his life.  His peace with himself and his joy with the world were contagious.  I loved the happiness of a Sunday morning with my Dad.  He always knew to take things slowly and to enjoy every bit of the ride.

My father was able to give me away on my wedding day.  It was such a blessed event which despite how he felt, he carried himself with such grace.  Before we were about to walk down the aisle, I stood with my arm linked in his, nervous as can be, shaking.  I looked up at him searching for the sage advice he always gave me.  He looked down at me and as the doors opened, he whispered in my ear, “Holy shit, there are a lot of people here.”  That was all I needed to hear to let out a big laugh and I felt at ease.  We walked down the aisle as we loved to do together, like proud peacocks basking in the attention.

I know Dad will be looking down tomorrow and will be saying the same line he said to me before we walked down the aisle.  He will be overwhelmed with joy by the amount of people he inspired.  It is such a testament to him and to the iconic man he was.  And out of the thousands of lives he touched, I was blessed to be his only daughter – his confidant, his joke stager, his serenading companion, and his raucous sidekick.  Life may feel unfair at times, but I am the luckiest girl to have spent 28 blessed years growing into who I am because of my father and all that he was.

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. consciouscloset  |  March 29, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    I love your Dad’s words to you before you walked down the aisle! Beautiful post, Kate.

    • 2. katecollinsinteriors  |  March 29, 2011 at 10:22 AM

      Thank you! I really loved that he said that to me – it was very much him. And like always, he made me laugh when I needed it most.

  • 3. Katy  |  March 29, 2011 at 10:24 AM

    You have honored your dad to the fullest by living as he did: Full of love, joy, dreams and silliness. Thinking of your family today. Lots of love to you.

  • 4. Shannon  |  March 29, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    Thinking of all of you today, wiping the tears away from my eyes from your wonderful post.

  • 5. Caitlin  |  March 29, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    Lots of love today, Miss Kate. Very lovely, sweet words about your Dad.

  • 6. Glynnis  |  March 29, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    Lovely words, Kate.

  • 7. Shop Sweet Things with Jeanne  |  March 29, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    What a lovely post dedicated to your father! He must be so proud to have you as his daughter. Thanks so much for sharing.

    xo, Jeanne

  • 8. Emily  |  March 29, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    Big hugs go out to you today Kate. Your father was an amazing man!

  • 9. Lauren Grote  |  March 29, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    I love your post. He would be so proud of you. Living out your dreams. Your wedding picture made me think of your father/daughter dance to American Pie that was so beautiful. Thinking of you and love you.

  • 10. Kim  |  March 30, 2011 at 8:01 AM

    Great post Kate. Thinking about you and your family today. Your dad was a wonderful man and I know he continues to look down on you with pride every day.


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